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Dry Socket

What is Dry Socket?

Dry Socket, also known as Alveolar Osteitis, is a rare oral condition characterized by consistent pain felt after extraction of the permanent tooth in the socket. The socket is a hole in the bone where the tooth has been removed. The condition tends to occur at the site of tooth extraction where the blood clot dislodges prematurely, disrupting the wound healing process. It is usually associated with impacted wisdom tooth. The exposure of underlying bone and nerves results in pain arising one to three days following extraction. Fortunately, the condition is not life threatening and can be treated with administration of medicated dressings at affected sites, antibiotic drugs and saline mouth washes to alleviate the symptoms.

Medical Specialties and Clinical Interests

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dry Socket?

Signs and symptoms of Dry Socket may include:

  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Ear pain
  • Halitosis
  • Severe pain within a few days after a tooth extraction
  • Swollen lymph nodes

What Causes Dry Socket?

Possible causes of Dry Socket are:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Have previously undergone Dental Extraction

What Increases the Risk of Dry Socket?

The risk of Dry Socket increases when you/your:

  • Are a female consuming Oral Contraceptives
  • Are a smoker
  • Are older than 30 years old
  • Chew tobacco
  • Have poor personal oral hygiene
  • Have previously undergone Dental Extraction
  • Rinse your mouth vigorously 24 hours after a tooth extraction
  • Spit or drink through a straw frequently after a tooth extraction

What Complications Can Dry Socket Cause?

Dry Socket may result in the following complications:

How Can You Prevent Dry Socket?

Dry Socket can be prevented if you/your:

  • Schedule your Dental Extraction on the 23rd to 28th day of your oral contraception cycle

What Treatments are Available for Dry Socket?

Treatments and management of Dry Socket may vary depending on the individual patient and the severity of the medical condition. Treatment options may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Medicated Dressing
  • Saline Mouth Rinse
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